Morrisons warehouse staff to stage mass walk out

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Almost 1,000 members of staff at two of Morrisons' distribution centres have voted in favour of strike action. Image: Getty
Almost 1,000 members of staff at two of Morrisons' distribution centres have voted in favour of strike action. Image: Getty

Related tags Supermarket

Workers across two Morrisons distribution centres have voted in favour of strike action after pay negotiations broke down with the retailer.

Almost 1,000 workers at the Cheshire and Wakefield warehouses will down tools for six days, from stock controllers, cooks, canteen staff and administrators.

Unite members were balloted on strike action last month​ over new pension contribution requirements which the union claimed would leave its members £500 worse off per year. It also called into question other changes introduced by the retailer, including the removal of a service award, the adoption of a new pick rate measure, alterations to job rules and a failure to correctly follow absence policies.

‘Members left worse off’

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite is focussed on our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and these unmerited changes to workers’ pensions will leave our members worse off every month. Unite will not stand for such behaviour from any employer.”

Of the 1,000 Unite members that were involved with the ballot, with nearly 97% responding in favour of the strikes.

The first of the three-day strikes will begin on 23 May, with the second starting on 13 June. Unite expected stores in north Wales and stores with smaller chilled goods warehousing capabilities to be impacted the most.

Failure to resolve

National officer Adrian Jones said: “Despite our best efforts over a number of meetings, it seems Morrisons are not interested in resolving this dispute as they have refused to change their mind over the changes. Along with a number of other issues we have attempted to get management to see sense and find a way forward.”

This week also saw the union announce more that 100 of its members employed by GXO Logistics will strike for 15 days in a dispute over pay.

Warehouse workers and delivery drivers will take part in industrial action from Monday 20 May until Friday 7 June at the Feltham site in the London borough of Hounslow.

Unite said the strikes would threaten the transport of popular brands such as Costa Coffee and Whitebread, the owner of Premier Inn.

Meanwhile, in March, workers at Pilgrim’s Food Masters secured an ‘inflation-busting’ pay increase​at the manufacturer’s site in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland.

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